Media Release: YWCA CALGARY SHEDS LIGHT ON GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE

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For immediate release

YWCA CALGARY SHEDS LIGHT ON GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE

CALGARY, Tuesday, December 6, 2016 – Today YW Calgary will shed light on gender-based violence in recognition of the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women.

With the support of Calgary Municipal Land Corporation, ATB Financial and Calgary Tower Management the Langevin Bridge, Calgary Tower and McMahon Stadium will shine red alongside many other structures and monuments across the country as visual reminders to honour women who have lost their lives.

As the largest and longest serving women’s organization in Calgary, and one of 32 YWCA member organizations across the country YW Calgary remembers the 14 women murdered in 1989 at École Polytechnique in Montreal, simply for being women and brings light to the ongoing issue of violence against women.

“Gender-based violence in Calgary is reaching staggeringly high levels and is happening in every community, every neighbourhood and at every income level.” says Sue Tomney, CEO, YW Calgary. “We need to recognize that violence against women continues in our communities and we need to speak up, for and with women.”

Every month this year, violence rates have been higher than average and so far in 2016, Calgary Police Service (CPS) have responded to 2,796 domestic conflict calls – 36 per cent more calls than the five-year average for this time of year. CPS’s forward looking predictions expect officers will respond to approximately 3,500 violent incidents for 2016, meaning there are more than 750 additional victims and families impacted by domestic abuse or gender-based violence.

Calgary is on-track to have the highest domestic violence rate in our city since 2004. More importantly, these statistics represent 2,743 people who have experienced violence so far this year. This is a number that all Calgarians need to help change.

Gender-based violence is a community issue. It requires awareness and action by not only police services and social agencies, but by each and every individual. In 2015, YW supported more than 1,550 women who experienced violence or abuse. Many women who are struggling with poverty and homelessness have experienced violence as well. Through refuge, counselling, outreach and family access services, YW strives to enable women to live free of violence in the community.

YW subject matters experts are available for interview opportunities related to the issue of violence against women and the National Day of Remembrance.

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About YWCA Calgary:

YW Calgary is the largest and longest serving women’s organization in Calgary. For more than 105 years we have focused on enhancing women’s safety and well-being while advocating for equity. In 2015, the YW supported more than 6,700 Calgary women and families. Together with our donors, government and other social agencies, we provide shelter, supportive housing, counselling, child development, childcare, education and employment programs that help move women from crisis to stability.

Women-centred. Brighter-future focused.

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For information please contact:

Carla Link

Manager, Marketing & Communications

YW Calgary

Cell: 587.228.8663 l Email: clink@ywcalgary.ca